Tami Neilson gets into sizzling rockabilly mode on her new song “Hey, Bus Driver!”, which is the first offering from her upcoming full-length album. The Canada-born, New Zealand-based singer-songwriter’s Chickaboom! — the follow-up to 2018’s Sassafrass! — will be released February 14th, 2020.
“Fall asleep looking at your picture, wake up saying your name,” Neilson sings in the opening verse of “Hey, Bus Driver!”, evoking the mobile life of a musician and those loved ones who are often miles away at home. But instead of a somber lament, this is a lively plea to get back home as quickly as possible, with Neilson ordering the bus driver to put the pedal down as she lets loose with a powerful wail. It’s a return to roots of sorts of Neilson, who put out a couple records of scorching rockabilly and country before branching out into soul, funk, and R&B with her latest material.
The video for “Hey, Bus Driver!” was directed by Neilson’s youngest brother Todd and features their brother Jay Neilson, who also co-wrote the song with Tami. The three siblings grew up singing together in a family country band led by their father Ron, whose first guitar is being played by Jay in the colorful, sci-fi inspired clip.
“Todd wanted us to be slow and lumbering giants over this miniature town and so he sped the music up 3 times faster and Jay and I had to sing and play like chipmunks on crack, while appearing to give an effortless performance,” says Neilson. “In addition to getting to relive my childhood by spending a morning playing cars and trains with my little brothers again, it was a B-movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman dream come true!”
Neilson has a series of October tour dates lined up for Australia and New Zealand, but she’s also set to perform in Nashville on September 10th during AmericanaFest 2019.